Lovis Corinth

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'Self-portrait', Corinth painted in Berlin, 1900

Lovis Corinth (21 July 1858 – 17 July 1925) was one of the leading German painter-artists of the Berlin Secession; he painted mainly portraits and landscapes in a dynamic gesture and with a vibrant use of color. He realized a synthesis of Impressionism and Expressionism.


Corinth, c. 1920-25: 'Walchensee, Landscape with cattle', oil-painting on canvas; current location: Museumslandschaft Hessen, Kassel
  • In the autumn of 1884 I went to Paris. The spirit that greeted me was certainly more impressive than in Germany. I studied in a famous school. The French who I met there seemed to me not at all equipped. Traditional views. I was there for three years. I never found a talent. Among the Germans, in particular at the Academy of Munich, there was a lot more momentum. I admire the French painting from Watteau to Monet, otherwise there is nothing that can be said to be exceptional.
  • My conscious motivation was to bring German art up to the highest level. I saw what the French artists could do since some time, we could do much more. I spoke in front of our youth, I can say with success.
  • Diseases, a paralysis of the left side, a monstrous right hand tremor strengthened by the efforts by the needle [for engraving] and caused by previous excesses with alcohol, prevent me from doing any calligraphic craftsmanship. A constant effort to achieve my goal - I've never reached the degree hoped - has exacerbated my life, and every job has ended with the depression of having to go on with this life.

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